Friday 13 January 2012


Let's not dick about: Shame is very good. It's brilliantly acted, Sean Bobbit's cinematography is immaculate, the score is beautiful, the editing is innovative and it's stunningly directed by Steve McQueen. *insert obligatory "not that Steve McQueen" gag*

Technically it's spot on, but not in a clinical way - McQueen is more than just a master of all the tools and talent at his disposal, and, having arrived in the movie world three years ago with the equally stark Hunger, cements his position as a member of an elite group of fearless and original filmmakers.

Michael Fassbender's troubled sex addict Brandon is a perfectly realised character, the likes of which you rarely see in cinema these days, and the film is admirably unafraid to tackle the issues presented by a man who simply can't stop himself fucking things. It's been hailed as provocative, and hopefully it's an an openness and willingness to discuss stuff like sex addiction that's provoked, rather than spurts of outrage from middle-England Daily Mail readers. It's a film that needs to be seen, if only to open our eyes to a side of life most of us are either unaware of or unwilling to even contemplate.

All of which makes it massively annoying that Shame left me absolutely flaccid. I didn't feel anything while I watched it. Not a sausage. With one eye on the screen and one on my watch, I found myself incapable of arousing any empathy or sympathy for Brandon, and the film didn't occupy my thoughts from the moment I withdrew from the cinema until the time I came to write this.

It's hard to put my finger on why I failed to connect with Shame bearing in mind I admire so much about it; maybe I need empathetic characters, maybe I need backstory, maybe I'm just not a fan of character studies. But for me the film feels simultaneously too long and too short: I felt like it could have done what it did in a fraction of the time, but with an extended length could have taken us deeper and more satisfyingly into Brandon's fractured psyche.

But these are minor quibbles. Shame and I just weren't meant to get it on, it's that simple. It's still better than most of the junk out there though, so fuck it, go and see it.


  1. It's a grow-er not a show-er

  2. What about this bit??? You didn't cry??!?

  3. Closing with a cleverly inverted sense of ambiguity, Shame is an effective film both performance-wise and from a technical standpoint. Fassbender is also perfect in this role and I really do hope he at least gets a nomination for an Oscar. Good review right here.

  4. OCD is becoming very common. For some it is gambling, shopping or in one case a woman at a therapy group who confessed to a compulsion to dust her living space. "When can you come to my house?" responded the group almost as one voice.

    There are some who can easily spot OCD in others but close their minds in denial when confronted with evidence of their own disorder.

    I wonder why The Incredible Disordered Suit was unmoved by this movie and forgot it quickly?

    If you fall of a Bateaux Mouches dinner cruise in Paris would you be in Seine?

    If you are falsely accused of OCD there is no way of saying it is not true because your protestations serve only to confirm that you are in denial.